US Man Sentenced To Eight Years Hard Labor For Illegal N Korea Entry
April 7, 2010
Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a 30-year-old American English teacher in South Korea, crossed the border on January 25th. He was held ever since, and was tried on Tuesday.
His sentence was eight years of hard labor at a North Korean prison, as well as a fine of $700,000.
But experts doubt that Gomes will serve the sentence, or perhaps any time at all.
According to many who are familiar with the North Korean political and judicial system (which are often the same thing in the country), Gomes will probably be handed over as a goodwill gesture to the United States, who they are currently attempting to mend strained ties with.
This has been the case with several other cases of Americans crossing into North Korea, such as two journalists who were released after a surprise visit from former President Bill Clinton.
U.S. officials are already pressing for his release and return to the States.